New York: James Parker, at the New Printing-Office in Beaver-Street, 1767. Octavo in fours, measuring 7.25 x 4.25 inches: , 479, , 143, . Modern three-quarter calf, marbled boards, raised bands, spine compartments ruled and lettered in gilt, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Two early ownership signatures to title. Repair to lower margin of title page, not affecting imprint; loss to lower corner of leaf Ff2; text block toned.
First edition in English of the psalm book of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York City, the first book of music printed from moveable type in America. The psalms were translated from the Dutch by the American composer Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; the musical type for the melody line was imported from Amsterdam; and the book was printed in lower Manhattan by preeminent colonial printer James Parker, longtime collaborator of Benjamin Franklin. The psalms are followed by musical settings of the Ten Commandments and various prayers, then by the text of the Heidelberg Catechism and the sacraments of the Church. This copy bears the early ownership signatures of Jeromus and Nelly Vanderbilt. Before the meteoric rise of shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt in the nineteenth century, the Vanderbilt family settled throughout New York and New Jersey, many worshipping in the Reformed Dutch Church; a Jeromus Vanderbilt married Nelly Ten Eyck in Somerset County in 1781, though we cannot positively identify that couple as the owners of this psalm book. ESTC W6234, Sabin 66448, Evans 10561, Church 1067. A handsome example of a landmark in American printing.